Brain/Mood Health

Saturated fat increases risk of psychopathology, study suggests

19 Jun 2018 --- Adolescent rats who consume a diet high in saturated fats are at an increased risk of psychopathology in adulthood, a study published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity has found. Moreover, the researchers from Loma Linda University in California found that the areas of the brain that handle the fear/stress response were altered to the point that subjects began exhibiting behaviors that mirror post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The findings could help researchers to target mental health illness in the coming generations and express the lasting, and potentially irreversible, effects of a poor diet.

Key gut-brain interplays identified, enhancing possibilities for neurological treatments

21 May 2018 --- Steps have been taken toward untangling the complex interplay that allows the byproducts of microorganisms living in the gut to influence the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. Researchers have defined a pathway between the two, coined the gut-brain axis, that may help guide therapies for multiple sclerosis and other neurological diseases. Essentially, some gut microbes were found to activate an anti-inflammatory pathway that can limit neurodegeneration.

BioPQQ European progress: Mitsubishi brain health supplement gets Novel Foods nod

03 May 2018 --- The all-natural brain health supplement BioPQQ, manufactured by Mitsubishi Gas Chemical, is to be added to the EU’s Approved List of Novel Foods, enabling the product to be used in food applications. Traditionally associated with brain-boosting capacities among aging consumers, the company notes there are growing opportunities among younger generations, actively seeking for products to give them a mental edge. NutritionInsight spoke with Shoji Matsukawa, General Manager, Organic Chemicals Sales & Marketing for Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America, about the product’s appeal and the studies underscoring its benefits.

Fish protein found to prevent “Parkinson's protein” formation, study shows

23 Apr 2018 --- A common protein found in species of fish, parvalbumin, may prevent the formation of specific protein structures that are closely associated with Parkinson’s disease. The study, conducted at the Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, shines a light on the link between fish consumption and brain health and expands the healthy reputation of fish beyond the famous omega fatty acids.

Arjuna botanical ingredient taps into gut-brain axis, study finds

17 Apr 2018 --- Results of a new human study show that Herbagut, an all-natural polybotanical extract blend, supports gut health. The study discovered that the product can relieve digestive stress while improving overall well-being, the company reports. Herbalife is rooted in traditional Ayurvedic botanical ingredients that have been used for centuries for gut health and general well-being.

Cold pressed collaboration: Taiyo succeeds in chia oil shelf-life extension

11 Apr 2018 --- Taiyo, an expert manufacturer of functional ingredients, offers Xia Oil, a premium chia oil, that remains stable for up to two years. Using a novel process, XIA PURE Ox Blocker technology, the taste and smell of the oil stay fresh and its nutraceutical properties remain intact. 

Gut-brain axis: NZMP SureStart joins research program to aid infant formula development

09 Apr 2018 --- NZMP SureStart, the global B2B pediatric ingredients brand of Fonterra, has joined Smarter Lives, a five-year research program that investigates how nutrition impacts the gut-brain axis. Smarter Lives is funded by New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and led by New Zealand research institute, AgResearch. It will investigate how foods influence brain function via the sophisticated communication systems between the gut and the brain.

Study uncovers interplay between omega 3, sleep and cognition in kids

05 Apr 2018 --- Frequent fish consumption may aid better quality sleep and cognitive functioning in children, a Chinese study has found. The study, published in Nature, claims to be the first study to delineate the mediating pathways between greater fish consumption and improved cognition amongst children.

Three cups of coffee per day may have “significant” negative effect on Alzheimer’s symptoms, study suggests

04 Apr 2018 --- A study has found that the long-term consumption of caffeine worsens some neuropsychiatric symptoms experienced by most Alzheimer’s patients. The research, published in Frontiers of Psychology, suggests the most exacerbated symptoms are neophobia (fear of everything), anxiety-related behaviors and emotional and cognitive flexibility.

Natural chill pill: Arjuna launches highly potent Ashwagandha extract

26 Mar 2018 --- Arjuna Natural Ltd launches a high-potency, all-natural Ashwagandha extract: Shoden. Shoden is said to be made up of 35 percent glycowithanolides – the most active component of ashwagandha, which has been used in India for centuries to reduce anxiety and stress. Arjuna Natural Ltd states that this percent of glycowithanolides is high in comparison with similar products on the market.

Cognitive health: Cambridge Commodities taps into RTD functional formats 

12 Mar 2018 --- Cognitive functional foods have been growing in popularity among consumers and Cambridge Commodities believes that foods that improve brain function are set for strong growth in the coming years. The company is on a mission to reinvent nootropics, to make them more accessible for consumers to drink on the go and when they most need them. 

Controlled calories and low-fat diet may protect an aging brain, study shows

12 Mar 2018 --- Following a low-fat diet in combination with limited caloric consumption can prevent age-related brain dysfunction in aging mice. The study, published in Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, also finds that exercise is far less effective than the caloric restriction in preventing such neurological, age-related changes. Although an early day’s rodent study, this data could demonstrate the potential importance of dietary fat intake on brain health in aging populations.

Iodine deficiency on the rise globally: Must focus on natal nutrition, study warns

12 Mar 2018 --- Iodine is an essential nutrient particularly for the neurodevelopment of fetuses. Deficiency at this stage could have negative consequences, a review conducted by the Hospital de Riotinto, Spain and Unversity of Surrey, UK, have shown. The findings are of rising importance as iodine deficiencies are becoming more common, the review suggests.

Saffron extract may help prevent depression in teens, study shows

07 Mar 2018 --- Depressed teenagers treated with saffron extract showed improvements in symptoms, according to a study published in The Journal of Affective Disorders. The study had positive effects although it is needed to “replicate these studies to confirm our initial positive findings,” says Adrian Lopresti, Senior Research Administrator at Murdoch University. Saffron is most commonly known as an expensive, golden-hued ingredient mostly used in cooking. However, it has been traditionally used as a treatment for depression in Iran.

Omega 3 does not improve children's learning abilities, study finds

05 Mar 2018 --- New research has found no evidence omega 3 fish oil supplements help aid or improve the reading ability or memory function of underperforming schoolchildren. These findings are in contradiction to an earlier study – in 2012 – run by the same team using the same supplement.

Food allergy experiences linked to personality traits, study suggests

02 Mar 2018 --- A new study has observed a link between certain personality traits and the way that the daily challenges that accompany food allergies are experienced by individuals. The personality trait most in conflict with the challenges is “higher openness to experience”. It is hoped that this research may help people who experience allergies – as well as parents and support groups - understand and manage them.

Mood food: DASH diet may reduce depression risk, study shows

26 Feb 2018 --- Following a specific diet aimed at reducing stroke risk could be the answer to preventing the onset of depression, a study has found. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet is high in fruit and vegetables, recommends fat-free or low-fat dairy products and limits foods that are high in saturated fats and sugar. The study finds that following such a diet not only lowers high blood pressure, bad cholesterol (LDL) and body weight but also may lower the risk of depression.

Chronic heavy drinking major risk factor for dementia: The Lancet

21 Feb 2018 --- Excessive alcohol use is a major risk factor for onset of all types of dementia, especially early-onset dementia, according to a French nationwide observational study, published in The Lancet Public Health journal. Previous research has shown mixed results regarding the effect of alcohol on cognitive health, with some studies showing a possible benefit of light to moderate drinking, while others have found detrimental effects of heavy drinking on dementia risk.

Saturated fat and sugar can cause depression and anxiety: study

14 Feb 2018 --- A diet rich in saturated fat, such as palm oil, and sugar not only leads to obesity, but it also creates inflammation in the nucleus accumbens, a part of the brain that controls mood and the feeling of reward. This inflammation can lead to depressive, anxious and compulsive behavior and disrupt metabolism, according to a study from the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM). The discovery illustrates the vicious circle experienced by people with obesity caused by a diet rich in sugar and saturated fat, with their diet leading to negative emotions, which can stimulate the quest for more comfort through food.

Rest assured: Som Sleep launches RTD sleep supplements

06 Feb 2018 --- Som Sleep has launched its first two products, NSF Certified for Sport RTD sleep supplements Som Sleep Original and Som Sleep Zero Sugar. Both original and sugar-free options are available in a 4-pack, 12-pack and 24-pack for one-time purchase or recurring delivery through the company’s website. According to the company, Som Sleep is low-calorie, gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO and preservative free.